Rakuten Hoping For $16MM Posting Fee On Iwakuma

We heard earlier in the month that the Rakuten Golden Eagles had committed to posting right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Patrick Newman from NPB Tracker tweets that the bidding will begin tomorrow, and the Golden Eagles are hoping for a posting fee of around $16MM-$17MM.

Any team looking to sign Iwakuma would have to then also negoitate the right-hander's contract. The 29-year-old posted solid numbers across the board this year with a 2.82 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9 over 201 innings. That marked Iwakuma's fourth straight season posting an ERA of 3.40 or better.

At 29 years old (30 next April), Iwakuma likely still has several good years left in his arm. Newman has said recently that Iwakuma is the second-best MLB pitching prospect currently in NPB. A posting fee that high, however, will undoubtedly limit the number of interested teams, despite a thin market for free agent starting pitching this season.

There's also the risk factor of bringing on a Japanese starter. While some, like Hiroki Kuroda, deliver on the investment, no team wants to end up with a Kei Igawa situation on their payroll.


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